Continuing our summer cycling kit reviews, I tested Hincapie’s Emergence jersey and Metric bibshorts.
Both use Schoeller’s Cold Black finish to help reflect the sun’s heat despite the rich black color. I rode these in NC and FL on some really hot, sunny days and my best guess is yes, they do reflect some of the heat, but when it’s 90+ degrees out with no shade, anything’s gonna feel hot.
Heat aside, the Hincapie kit is really comfortable. As if to show ‘merican sizing at its finest, or because George Hincapie is 6’4″, the clothing runs large. Both pieces tested here are size Large (I’m 6’2″, about 180lbs). While they’re not flappy in the wind, they didn’t fit nearly as snugly as some of the other kits I’ve tested. Standing around, it’s fine, but in the riding position, the front of the shorts tended to bunch up a bit. I probably would have been better off with a Medium in both because neither pieces use super compressive material. They stretch, but don’t have as strong of a pull as some other kits. That’s not necessarily a bad thing…
The jersey has three main pockets with a side-access zip pocket on the right. It uses “AT-1″ stretch fabric with body-mapped knit patterns and panels for a conforming fit…another clue that I’d be better off in a Medium. Sizing aside, the material is very light with good breathability. It dries quickly and is very comfortable.
On the shorts, you can see a bit of bunching on the back. I’m a 32-33 waist. Usually bibshorts that are super snug on me suffer from too-short shoulder straps thanks to my height. In these, the bib straps are plenty stretchy and plenty tall…I could have been 6’4” and still been able to pull the fronts down well below the important bits when it comes time to water the plants roadside.
The chamois uses a multi-thickness pad that’s a good height. It was comfortable on long rides, though a smaller size short would have kept it in place better.
The jersey has a full zip with no chin protector panel. Reflective bits are scattered around it for safety.
The shorts combine Resistex Carbon panels, which claim to help lower temperature, heart rate and lactic acid concentration in muscles, with the Cold Black to help maintain a comfortable body temp. Two of my favorite features on the shorts are the lack of any gripper on the leg openings and that the stretch feels like its coming from the knit rather than elastic. It is Lycra, but the compression isn’t overpowering. Of course, this too could have been a sizing issue.
Lastly, they incorporate ABR Resistor Lycra fabric to reduce external wear and tear. Over the summer, these saw heavy rotation and aren’t showing any undue wear. Bibs are $189 and jersey is $129.
Regarding sizing, this is one instance where you should go with the size smaller to be safe. Finding a stockist and trying them on is always best, but finding a good stocking LBS for any brand of clothing isn’t always the easiest thing to do…particularly if you want something mid-season. Looking past the sizing issues, I’d go back to Hincapie for more cycling clothing in a heartbeat. The material selection and cut is spot on for my build, and it’s comfortable. The straps on the bibs were a bit on the wide side, which some people prefer, but I never felt like they were trapping any extra sweat or heat. All in all, I’d recommend these pieces highly.